13 States Of Marketing
Like 4th of July fireworks, your marketing must be hot, bright and loud to break through, attract attention, and get people to act.
Just as fireworks have evolved to create amazing, synchronized light displays, marketing has also advanced so that we now have 13 states of marketing.
Like the original 13 states, each type of marketing has its own unique character. Yet, like our nascent country, all 13 promotional formats are united in a single goal, namely, “To get prospects and customers to buy!”
The 5 Ps of Marketing
Traditionally, marketing strategy has focused on the (now) 5 Ps:
- Product: What you’re selling?
- Price: How much you’re looking to receive in exchange?
- Promotion: How you’re enticing people to purchase?
- Place: Where you’re selling your offering? (It can also refer to where they find your messaging)
- People: Whom you’re trying to reach and get to buy your offering?
When I worked at The Economist, we differentiated between 2 types of marketing:
- Above-the-line marketing encompassed all marketing activities that didn’t contribute directly to revenues such as branding and PR.
- Below-the-line marketing referred to marketing activities that supported revenue generation such as subscriptions and advertising sales support.
13 States of marketing
To appreciate how much marketing has evolved, here are the 13 states of marketing as they’re currently used to persuade prospects and customers to purchase. (Please note, they’re listed alphabetically.)
- Affiliate marketing grows your revenues with the help of others. Other marketers are enticed to help sell your product in return for a share of the revenues. It differs from most marketing in that it’s more like running a sales force.
- Brand marketing builds your products and company, often through the use of mass media and advertising. Strong brands contribute to corporate value; Interbrand tracks this value. Through consistent use, smaller firms can build their brands and look bigger than they are.
- Content marketing provides quality information covering the 5 basic content types to support the sales process. Joe Pulizzi, author of Epic Content is known for building interest in this format.
- Direct marketing aims to convert prospects via a phone or website. It’s rooted in traditional formats like catalogs and infomercials. Seth Godin coined the term Permission Marketing; it focused on proactively asking prospects to let you contact them.
- Email marketing uses the power of this low cost and pervasive communication tool. At the heart of email marketing is the power to drive sales directly and quickly after a message is sent. The key to email marketing is a solid house file of opt-in readers.
- Inbound marketing, a term coined by Hubspot’s founders, broadly applies to marketing that drives potential buyers to seek you out. It encompasses search, email and blogging and social media. The key benefits are lower costs and more measurable results.
- Influencer marketing leverages the power of experts in a given field to endorse and promote a product. While marketers have used these techniques directly and indirectly for years, it’s gained traction with the expansion of social media. Danny Brown and Sam Fiorella wrote a book on this topic called, Influencer Marketing.
- Mass marketing reaches a broad audience. Often used by CGP marketers, it uses a combination of brand advertising and mass media. It doesn’t have to be targeted since the products are readily available in every supermarket or drugstore.
- Mobile marketing utilizes a mobile device, often a smartphone or tablet although both wearables and automotive devices are expanding. Think: provide utility for your user. Consider where your prospects are: at home, on-the-go, or in your retail location. How your message renders on different devices is critical to success.
- Real-time marketing aims to reach your audience when they’re searching for your products, business or information. It relies on technology to track customers (in aggregate so that it’s not as creepy as it sounds.)
- Search marketing focuses on helping organizations to rank higher on search engines through a combination of organic and paid tactics.
- Social media marketing leverages the power of social media platforms to extend an organization’s reach.
- Word of Mouth (aka WOM or viral) marketing aims to get potential customers talking about your product. Jonah Berger’s book Contagious and Andy Sernovitz’s book Word of Mouth Marketing are useful references on this topic. (It’s also a form of Guerrilla Marketing, a term coined by Jay Conrad Levinson.)
13 Hot marketing tips to set off fireworks
Here are 13 hot marketing tips that will create fireworks, regardless of which marketing format you use.
- Know your customer. Understand your target market. Create a marketing persona so that you can develop marketing that resonates with your prospects.
- Price your products and services with care. When calculating prices, make sure that you track all of your costs. Bear in mind that free for your customer isn’t necessarily free for you!!!
- Brand your products and company consistently. Incorporate a 360° view of your brand. Develop a set of brand guidelines and follow them. Repeat usage is the key.
- Deliver multiple impressions. Face it–no one is going to remember your firm after just one look. It’s the old bar story about will you marry me. Your audience must see your marketing at least 5 to 7 times before they believe it.
- Offer your marketing message using different formats. Use a mix of text, images, video, audio and real life experiences for your prospects.
- Use more than 1 platform. Don’t put all of your eggs in 1 media basket. This limits your reach. Think multi-platform: where, when and how your customers want your information.
- Develop relationships with your prospects and customers. It takes time to persuade prospects to purchase from you as well as to serve their changing needs over time.
- Assemble a house file. Create a list of people who are interested in your products and company. In today’s world this means an email file. Don’t just add anyone to your list. Get their permission. It’s not just good marketing, it’s the law, at least in Canada.
- Incorporate a call-to-action. Ask your prospects for the sale, or at a minimum, the permission to contact them again.
- Streamline your purchase process. Regardless of whether you’re selling IRL, online or phone, get rid of any excess steps. Each extra step, minute it takes, or piece of information you ask is a place where you can loose a prospect.
- Continually test different aspects of your marketing. Don’t assume that your marketing is the best it can be. Keep improving it. Read Anne Holland’s Which Test Won for ideas to A/B test your marketing.
- Track your marketing results. Don’t do your marketing blindly. Determine your goals and metrics before you start.
- Assess customer lifetime value (CLV). Weigh the value of your prospects in terms of your investment in acquiring them and marketing to them over the period of time that they purchase from you against the profits they generate. Don’t forget to include the value of their word of mouth and referrals.
Just as the original thirteen colonies were stronger when they united, your marketing is more effective when it utilizes a combination of different marketing types.
Use a mix of these 13 states of marketing to create fireworks that attract prospects and convert them into long-term customers.
What other forms of marketing would you add to this list and why?
Happy Independence Day to our American readers!
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